We have been tutoring my maid’s children – 3 boys, one who has failed in 9th, one who is in 3rd and the chotu in 1st. The first guy studies in English medium. He finds it so hard to answer questions wrt Pythagoras theorem, simple physics formulae and chemical formula of basic compounds. Now, this one is supposed to know centripetal force, centrifugal force, escape velocity and so on and he sits with no expression just by hearing the terms force and velocity. English is something which goes above his head. I wonder how his school has allowed him to come up till the 9th. He can’t speak a sentence in English. So, we thought the difficulty is that he cannot write answers in English. But then, Maths is something he should be able to manage. NO! Not a single sum he is able to solve. Let alone from 9th, we tried those from lower classes and it is still NO. I appreciate his Mom who shows a lot of interest that her children have to be educated and even regrets that she would not have been doing the cleaning stuff today had she listened to her mother and pursued her studies. The lady pays 500 rs as fees per month. She has not put them in the government school for lack of proper teachers and facilities. Somehow, we feel he is not interested in studies. His brother tells me he plays all day long that too with betting or watches TV. Ask him abt his interest in studies and he says he wants to be an officer. But none of that zest/spirit anything is seen in his efforts; rather there are no efforts. The younger one does his work pretty well and comes back well prepared if I ask him to learn something. His bro told us and his Mom too affirms that he shouts back at his Mom if she asks him to study and even holds her hand if she happens to rise. Now, the sad thing is that the Dad is a silent spectator and doesn’t say anything to the elder one, rather pampers him to the core. Where are we in the picture? What do you think we can do? We are in a fix as we know the boy is way behind what is required for Class 9th. He is already 18 yrs old and suggesting to put him in a lower class almost seems impossible because he does not seem to know things from 6th std. I was so confused how he cleared those exams and then this fellow tells me one of his friends gets the paper – this guy does not know how, when, where etc… but he gets the paper.So his answer to many questions where that he did not study them as they did not appear in the exam paper. But there should be something atleast in the paper of 100 marks. Also, his bro told me some teachers write the answers on the board during exams. I don’t know if this is the way he passed and if yes, how did he fail now. Also, in this case, how does it ever help him in future and to even think that the teachers themselves are doing this is just impossible. How do we get him to be open? How do we find out what’s in his mind? Its said that teenage is a difficult phase but how do we make him realize that now is the time he has to get going else he can’t have a bright future? I wanted to meet his teachers but owing to the vacations, it did not materialize. Its so difficult to tell anyone to take their children out of school when what we want is that the percentage of literates rises. But, everytime we see him, it becomes more n more clear that he just can’t do it. I am feeling so helpless. I would like to hear from all of you please so that we can get a solution. His Mom is completely dependent on us for the decision and the school management is asking her to pay his fees by June 5th. Time is running out and our ideas to get him to study too 😦

P.S: The boy has failed 9th and not 8th as mentioned before. Sorry for the typo. Corrected them.

Updated on 13th Jun ’09:

The boy’s father, with whom we spent 2 hrs trying to make him understand how diff it is for his
son to study was adamant enuf n has started sending his son to school again. Here I was looking for vocational courses for him and had also enquired abt spoken English classes at Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad and I get to listen from the lady that they have started sending him to school again. Now, I understand that they are gr8 parents and really want to see their children educated. But, why do they fail to understand that the final aim is to get this boy settled in life? He is just wasting time and there’s no use just sending him to school. JUST SENDING TO SCHOOL DOESN’T QUALIFY AS EDUCATION; HE NEEDS TO STUDY.

I went to his school and spoke to his teachers today. Not even one of them is hopeful. Infact, I also came to know that they had pushed him thru the lower classes as the govt has a policy that if a student has 100% attendance, they have to push the student thru as the govt wants to take steps against child labour. Now, is this the way they are battling it????????

The Head Master has two suggestions. Either he will continue in 9th and they will try if he can atleast score 35 [passing marks], which even they are not confident of. Else, they can leave him attend the classes for 10th but he would then be taking exams in private as he has not finished 9th yet. This will only help him in saving time as he is already old enuf to be in school. But if he fails thus, there will be some probs with TC [Transfer Certificate]. He was telling me that the parents demand TC and he can’t give it even for 9th in this case as he has passed only till 8th.

Again, I am in a fix. Hope something works out. Will update this space with all the developments which take place. Looking for ur support now and forever. Thanks πŸ™‚

Currently, the boy is studying in 9th again and the head master himself is giving him tuitions in addition to the school lessons. Wish something works out this time πŸ™‚